Tune in to hear our podcast episode with Stephen Faust, of Stoneybrook Gordon Setters. Stephen is a professional guide at Pine Ridge Grouse Camp with his beloved Gordons by his side. 


  • Well-bred field Gordons have excellent noses and prey drive

  • Kind, and affectionate

  • Fun to watch hunt…great passion!

  • The Gordon’s coat is ideal for heavily wooded grouse timber.

  • They handle the cold- OK.

  • Excellent memory i.e. If you hunt certain locations regularly, a Gordon will store in its memory banks, where it has found birds previously, and that’s the first place it will check.

  • Great one person hunting dog

  • Good intelligence- which can also be a challenge.




  • Because the breed has movie-star looks, many people have bred the Gordons for its appearance and not focused on hunting standards, making it more difficult to find a proven field hunting Gordon. Find the right breeder.

  • Stubborn as a mule …harder to train for the beginner or novice.

  • Rooster Pheasants, not inclined to honor Gordon’s point, can give these dog problems. You may see a Gordan's point multiple times on a running rooster, its owner gets ready for a flush and the pheasant is long since gone.

  • Gordon’s coats require sincere grooming and attract every bur it can find. The Gordon is, however, naturally a clean breed.

  • The breed can be slow to develop, say year three- that said the last Gordon I worked with was proficiently hunting by month ten.




The Gordon may be your next hunting companion if:

  • You can only have one hunting dog (or maybe two)

  • You primarily hunt grouse, woodcock or quail

  • Not an avid waterfowl hunter

  • Can make the dog a companion

  • This is not your first dog training experience

  • You are patient, not a harsh person

  • You are willing to commit to regular grooming

  • You are willing to spend the time researching breeders with proven field hunting lines

  • You are not looking to pick up a puppy this spring and count on it being ready to hunt next fall


That is the Gordon in a nutshell, Change my mind!


C.J. Steely

The Gordon Setter:

Pro and Cons

Change my mind!


I have always had a fondness for the Gordon Setter. They are beautiful dogs, bred to fulfill a particular hunting niche. They are in the setter line of things and so hunters familiar with Llewellyn's, English setters, Irish setters and so forth will be more inclined to appreciate this breed. The Gordon setter was bred with a heavier bone structure bridging the gap between its fleet-footed setter cousins and the need to more robustly hunt difficult rocky terrain. A properly bred field Gordon will maintain an unmatched enthusiasm for finding birds. I watch them slice through fields with an uncanny smile of enjoyment prominently displayed. They are the workhorse of the setter family. They are an excellent breed for a one-man dog scenario. Their noses are outstanding most likely due to their introduction of hound breed scent abilities into their lineage.  Gordons with which I have been associated, enjoy hunting around and through the water. Typically, they are not excellent natural retrievers. The Gordon has a supernatural memory bank, they will remember where they found birds previously and return to those locations. They are entirely affable with family and younger children but can sometimes appear aloof from other breeds with a clingier nature. I enjoy hunting them with upland game birds, including grouse, pheasant, quail, and chukars. They require firm consistent training but a trainer without a harsh nature. You must be patient and learn to work with their stubbornness. Don’t ever yell at a Gordon.

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If you have any comments or additional opinions on today's review, please submit them to cjsteely@extremeupland.com

I look forward to hearing from you!